20D.80.10 Landscaping and Natural Screening.

20D.80.10-010 Purpose.

(1)    The intent of this section is to provide minimum landscape requirements in order to:

(a)    Maintain and protect property values;

(b)    Enhance the City’s appearance and character;

(c)    Visually unify the City and its neighborhoods;

(d)    Reduce erosion and storm water runoff;

(e)    Maintain or replace existing vegetation;

(f)    Promote proper plan selection and continuous maintenance so that plant materials can flourish;

(g)    Reduce visual impacts of uses by screening.

(2)    The following landscape standards and specifications are intended to provide guidance for implementation of the landscape regulations contained in this chapter and Downtown Pedestrian System, RCDG 20C.40.105. Implementation of these standards shall also be consistent with the design standards contained in Chapter 20D.40 RCDG. (Ord. 2302; Ord. 1954. Formerly 20C.20.090(05) and Appx. N (I))

20D.80.10-020 Compliance with Requirements.

All land uses shall comply with the requirements of this section, except single-family residential must only comply with the requirements for the preservation of trees, RCDG 20D.80.20, Tree Protection. (Formerly 20C.20.090(10))

20D.80.10-030 Unique or Special Circumstances.

The Technical Committee shall have the authority to vary these standards in unique or special circumstances to assure the fulfillment of the stated purpose of this section, to allow for flexibility and innovation of design, and to provide a superior landscape plan. Special circumstances or unique conditions shall be reviewed with the Planning Director prior to submittal of a landscape plan. Examples of special conditions might include:

(1)    Preservation of wildlife habitat;

(2)    Preservation of significant natural area and existing vegetation;

(3)    Compliance with special easements;

(4)    Special site uses;

(5)    Relationship with adjacent property;

(6)    Preservation of significant trees;

(7)    Preservation of views. (Ord. 1954. Formerly Appx. N (II))

20D.80.10-040 Landscape Plan Approval.

(1)    A development application shall include a preliminary and final landscape plan in compliance with the guidelines outlined in the Landscape Standards and be subject to the criteria of Chapter 20D.40 RCDG, Design Standards.

(2)    The landscape plan shall be prepared or approved by a licensed landscape architect, certified nurseryman, or certified landscaper. (Formerly 20C.20.090(15))

20D.80.10-050 Performance Assurance.

Prior to the issuance of any construction permits for a project, performance security in an amount determined by the Planning Director based on current price per square foot of standard plantings shall be submitted to the City to guarantee installation of the required planting/irrigation and the replacement of any plants that may die within one year of planting. Required planting/irrigation shall be installed within six months of the date of final construction permit approval or the issuance of a certificate of occupancy, whichever is later. If the requirements are not met in the allotted time, the City shall use the security to complete the planting/irrigation. (Formerly 20C.20.090(20))

20D.80.10-060 Preservation of Trees.

Repealed by Ord. 1998. (Ord. 1954; Ord. 1734. Formerly 20C.20.090(25) and Appx. N (XII))

20D.80.10-070 Landscape Area Requirements.

(1)    Multi-Family Residential:

R-8, R-12 50 percent

R-18, R-20, R-30 50 percent

    of the site shall be landscaped.

(2)    Business (NC, GC): 25 percent of the site shall be landscaped.

(3)    Business Park (BP): 22 percent for sites less than one acre in size; 20 percent for sites one acre or larger in size.

(4)    Industrial (MP, I): 20 percent of the site for lots less than one acre in size; 18 percent for sites one acre or larger in size.

(5)    Downtown Pedestrian System: Pedestrian system landscaping requirements (RCDG 20C.40.105) are the landscape area requirements in the Downtown.

(6)    Overlake: See RCDG 20C.45.40, Site Requirements, and RCDG 20C.45.70-040, Site Requirements – Overlake Design District.

(7)    Vehicle Use Area: Parking lots, including driveways, service areas and other vehicle use areas, shall provide interior and perimeter landscape areas as indicated in Table 20D.80.10-070. Parking lot landscaping may also be used to meet the site area and linkage system landscape requirements.


Table 20D.80.10-070 Vehicle Use Areas 

Interior Landscaping

0 6,000 sq. ft.

6,000 30,000 sq. ft.

30,000 sq. ft.+

Area required per 100 feet of vehicle use area


5 sq. ft.

7 sq. ft.

Maximum contiguous landscape area (except perimeter)

350 sq. ft.

500 sq. ft.

1,500 sq. ft.

Minimum area of landscaping

64 sq. ft.

64 sq. ft.

100 sq. ft.


Average Width from Property Line

Perimeter Landscaping

Street Frontage    

Interior Lot Line

Parking spaces:



0 100



100 499



500 1,000

15' (10')*



20' (10')*



*Planter width may be reduced with provision of four-foot-high fence or hedge between parking lot and streetside planter, subject to review and approval by the Design Review Board.

Other Requirements:

1.    Parked vehicles may overhang landscaped areas up to two feet when wheelstops are provided.

2.    Trees shall be planted in vehicle use landscape areas at a minimum of one per four parking stalls. See illustration below.

(Ord. 2385; Ord. 2383; Ord. 2302; Ord. 1756; Ord. 1734. Formerly 20C.20.090(30)(b))

20D.80.10-080 Types of Planting.

(1)    The applicant shall indicate on the preliminary landscape plan the types of planting to be provided in each area of the site. The types of planting shall be consistent with the following definition of planting types:

(2)    Planting Types. The types, arrangement and quantity of plants shall be appropriate to the size and purpose of the area to be planted.

(a)    Type I – Solid Screen.

    Purpose. Type I planting is intended to provide a solid sight barrier.

    Description. Type I planting shall consist of evergreen trees and evergreen shrubs with a minimum height of five feet at planting, which will provide an 80 percent sight-obscuring screen at the time of planting; or a combination of evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs backed by 100 percent sight-obscuring, decorative wall or fence. Deciduous trees shall have a minimum height of 10 feet at planting. The width of the barrier shall generally be at least 10 feet, unless otherwise specified by the Technical Committee.

    Typical Uses for Type I Planting:

(i)    Outdoor storage.

(ii)    Service yards.

(iii)    Trash containers.

(iv)    Mechanical/electrical equipment.

(v)    Between incomplete uses such as industrial or commercial and residential or recreation uses.

(vi)    Utility installations or equipment.

(b)    Type II – Visual Screen.

    Purpose. Type II planting is intended to create a visual separation that is not necessarily 100 percent sight-obscuring.

    Description. Type II planting shall be evergreen or a mixture of evergreen and deciduous trees with large shrubs and groundcover interspersed with the trees, and/or a decorative wall or fence. Type II planting shall include a minimum of 60 percent evergreen trees and evergreen shrubs.

    Screening for parking structures shall consist of a maximum of 40 percent evergreen plantings in order to allow light to penetrate to the interior of the garages.

    Typical Uses for Type II Planting:

(i)    Between compatible uses to reduce the visual impact of expanses of pavement and blank building facades.

(ii)    Between parking lots and back of curb or sidewalk.

(iii)    To screen parking structures.

(c)    Type III – Low Cover.

    Purpose. Type III planting is intended to provide visual interest, to complement large plant materials, and for erosion control.

    Description. Type III planting shall consist of a mixture of evergreen and deciduous shrubs, and/or groundcover, to provide a 50 percent covering of the entire planting area at the time of planting.

    Typical Uses of Type III Planting:

(i)    Where visibility of storefronts, buildings or signs is necessary.

(ii)    At driveway entrances and exits adjacent to streets.

(iii)    To supplement existing vegetation and/or specimen trees.

(iv)    In fire access areas and around hydrants.

(d)    Type IV – Open Area Planting.

    Purpose. Type IV planting is intended to provide visual interest and shade in large open areas, particularly parking lots.

     Description. Type IV planting shall consist of trees planted with supporting shrubs and/or groundcover. Lawn may be substituted for groundcover where the width of the planting area exceeds 10 feet in the narrowest dimension. Evergreens can be used where sight distance allow.

    Up to 100 percent of the trees proposed for a parking area may be deciduous.

    Typical Uses of Type IV Planting:

(i)    For parking lot planting areas (islands, peninsulas or medians) and at edges where screening is not required.

(ii)    In open lawn areas as islands of plantings.

(iii)    As a supplement to existing vegetation. (Ord. 1954. Formerly 20C.20.090(30)(c) and Appx. N (IV))

20D.80.10-090 Existing Plant Material.

Existing trees and shrubs on the site of a proposed development may be used to meet requirements where such plant material is:

(1)    Consistent with the Preservation of Trees, RCDG 20D.80.20, Tree Protection;

(2)    Consistent with the planting design concept;

(3)    Likely to survive;

(4)    Existing plant material shall:

(a)    Be healthy;

(b)    Have the natural form of the species;

(c)    Be of a quality equal to or better than available nursery stock. (Ord. 1954. Formerly Appx. N (V))

20D.80.10-100 Plant Materials.

(1)    All plants shall be of the type, size and condition specified. They shall exhibit normal habits of growth for the species, shall have buds intact, and shall be free of disease, insects indications of strawberry root weevil, seed and weed roots, and scars, bruises and breaks.

(2)    Plant names shall conform to the latest edition of “Standard Plant Names” as adopted by the American Joint Committee of Horticultural Nomenclature.

(3)    All plants shall be hardy for the Redmond area.

(4)    All plants shall be from stock which has been cultivated and acclimatized to conditions similar to those prevailing at the project site. Plants from other areas, particularly California, shall be given six months to acclimate to conditions in Redmond before they are planted.

(5)    All plants shall have the following minimum size at installation:

(a)    Deciduous trees: two-inch caliper.

(b)    Evergreen trees: six – seven-foot minimum height range.

(c)    Vine maples and other multi-stemmed trees: seven – eight-foot minimum range.

(d)    Medium and tall shrubs: 24 – 30-inch minimum range.

(e)    Groundcover: four inches (approximately 18 inches o.c.).

(6)    Plants shall be selected from the Recommended Plant List (Appendix 20D-1), which includes a wide range of species from which to choose. Any substitute plants must be approved by the Department of Planning and Community Development. Groundcover should be selected for rapid growth and coverage in order to reduce erosion and maintenance.

(7)    Bark, mulch, gravel or other nonvegetative material shall only be used in conjunction with groundcover plantings to assist growth and maintenance or to visually complement plant material. Nonvegetative material is not a substitute for and should not appear to be dominant over plant material.

(8)    Plants shall be spaced appropriately for their type, function and the landscape design (massing, individual display, etc.). For example, plants used for screening may need to be spaced more closely. (Ord. 1954. Formerly Appx. N (VI))


20D.80.10-110 Planting on Adjacent Rights-of-Way.

Landscaping, except parking lot perimeter plantings, shall be installed on adjacent rights-of-way where appropriate and may be used to meet the site area requirement. Parking lot perimeter landscaping shall be measured from the property line. (Formerly 20C.20.090(30)(c))

20D.80.10-120 Minimum Planting Area.

The minimum size of any planting area shall be 100 square feet except where otherwise indicated, and no less than five feet in width or length, to provide a proper planting environment. (Formerly 20C.20.090(30)(c))

20D.80.10-130 Pervious Surface Areas.

All areas maintained in pervious surface which exceed the required landscape area must be seeded or otherwise planted to reduce erosion and storm water pollution. (Formerly 20C.20.090(30)(c))

20D.80.10-140 Street Tree Program.

(1)    Trees of the species listed in the Recommended Street Tree List are required to be installed on the following types of public streets unless variations are approved by the Technical Committee:

(a)    Principal arterials;

(b)    Minor arterials;

(c)    Collector arterials.

(2)    Street trees on the Recommended Street Tree List may be planted on local access streets by property owners, who are then responsible for maintenance of the trees and other plantings in the street right-of-way.

(3)    Street trees shall be planted according to the guidelines outlined in the Landscape Standards.

(4)    Removal of street trees without approval of the Planning Director is prohibited and may be subject to legal action and penalties.

(5)    Street Trees.

(a)    Street tree plantings on arterials shall be consistent in species and variety and of a type designated in the Street Tree Plan.

(b)    The average spacing for street trees may be adjusted to allow for sight lines, utilities, traffic signs, light standards, driveways and other street appurtenances.

(c)    Trees on public streets shall be installed within the right-of-way as follows:

(i)    Deciduous trees shall be planted at least four feet from the face of curb to center of tree in tree pits that measure four by four feet.

(ii)    Coniferous trees shall be planted at least seven + feet from curbs.

(iii)    Trees should have a clear trunk to a height of six feet above the ground.

(iv)    Sidewalks with tree wells shall meet the specifications of Standard Details Drawing S-1 contained in the Downtown Linkage System Construction Specifications. (Ord. 2302; Ord. 1954. Formerly 20C.20.090(35) and Appx. N (X))

20D.80.10-150 Planting Standards.

(1)    All planting areas shall be a minimum of five feet in width, except where a greater width is required for the health and survival of the plants.

(2)    Plantings shall meet the City requirements for sight clearance at intersections, and shall not conflict with pedestrian or traffic safety.

(3)    All required planting areas shall extend to the curb line, street edge, or area of sidewalk.

(4)    Permanent curbs or structural barriers/dividers shall enclose planting areas in vehicle use areas.

(5)    In parking lots, trees may be planted no closer than four feet from pavement edges where vehicles overhang planted areas.

(6)    Narrow parking lot islands or peninsulas and planting strips should not be planted in sod because of potential problems with maintenance. Location of larger parking spaces adjacent to islands is suggested to reduce damage to plant materials.

(7)    A minimum five-foot-wide planting are shall be provided between all building walls and paved areas except at service and pedestrian accesses.

(8)    Planting areas within existing and proposed water and sewer easements and rights-of-way shall be primarily Type III or Type IV plantings. Trees shall not be planted within eight feet of the water or sewer pipeline. Shrubs shall be at least four feet from hydrants. (Ord. 1954. Formerly Appx. N (VII))

20D.80.10-160 Grading.

(1)    Existing and proposed contours shall be shown on the preliminary and final landscape plans. All landscape berms or mounds shall also be shown with elevations on the grading plan submitted to the Public Works Department.

(2)    Graded slopes in planting areas should not exceed a 3(H):1(V) slope, in order to decrease erosion potential and to make maintenance easier.

(3)    Graded slopes planted with grass should not exceed a 4(H):1(V) slope.

(4)    On ungraded slopes equal to or greater than 2(H):1(V), erosion control netting or alternative procedures shall be used to prevent erosion.

(5)    Planting areas shall be provided with adequate drainage. (Ord. 1954. Formerly Appx. N (VIII))

20D.80.10-170 Soil Guidelines.

(1)    Topsoil for Grass and Groundcover.

(a)    Topsoil shall be natural, sandy, fertile, friable and possess characteristics of the representative productive soils in the vicinity. It shall not be excessively acid or alkaline nor contain toxic substances which may be harmful to plant growth.

(b)    Topsoil shall be without admixture of subsoil. It shall be reasonably free from clay lumps, stones, stumps, debris, roots or similar substances two inches or more in diameter, or other objects which might be a hindrance to the plant growth.

(c)    Topsoil shall meet the following specifications:



No. 20

No. 60

No. 270






Percent Passing:


77 100

0 23

0 10

(d)    Grass shall be installed on a minimum of six inches of topsoil, 65 – 75 percent compacted. Groundcover shall be installed in a minimum of four inches of topsoil, 65 – 75 percent compacted.

(2)    Planting Mix for Trees and Shrubs.

(a)    Planting soils shall consist of:

(i)    Three parts sand or loamy sand;

(ii)    One part sawdust or shredded, dried coarse sphagnum peat;

(iii)    One part aged, composted manure.

(b)    Soil mix shall contain two pounds of superphosphate per cubic yard; and shall be free of noxious weeds, harmful materials, rocks or debris which will not pass through a 3/4-inch screen.

(c)    Materials shall be thoroughly integrated during mixing.

(d)    Tree and shrub pits shall be backfilled with suitable planting mix.

(e)    Pits for all shrubs and trees shall be two times the size of the rootballs depth and width. (Ord. 1954. Formerly Appx. N (X))

20D.80.10-180 Irrigation.

(1)    All plants shall receive sufficient water to assure their survival. Planting areas over 500 square feet in size shall be irrigated with automatic systems designed to conserve water.

(2)    Where automatic irrigation is required, a subsurface irrigation or drip irrigation system shall be provided in accordance with all State and local rules, regulations and ordinances including approved backflow devices. The tap, service and meter shall be coordinated with the water department. The use of an exempt water meter is encouraged. The system shall completely cover all planting areas.

(3)    Spacing of sprinkler heads shall not exceed the spacing recommended by the manufacturer of the head. Pop-up heads are preferred where pedestrian use may occur such as lawns. Meters, backflow prevention devices, valves, and pipes shall be sized in accordance with standard flow charts to achieve maximum efficiency of the system. Overthrow onto public sidewalks or streets shall be kept to a minimum.

(4)    Street trees shall be watered with a minimum of one flood bubbler head or drip per tree placed one – two inches above grade so it will not be clogged by sand or debris. (Ord. 1954. Formerly 20C.20.090(40) and Appx. N (IX))

20D.80.10-190 Maintenance Requirements.

(1)    A maintenance bond, cash deposit, or other security in a form acceptable to the City Attorney covering 10 percent of the cost of the original plant materials in place shall be required for one year following installation.

(2)    Whenever planting has been required to comply with the landscape provisions of the Community Guide, the plant materials shall be permanently maintained in compliance with such regulations, approved plans and approval conditions, in such manner as to accomplish the purpose for which they were required. Failure to maintain required planting which creates substandard landscape shall disqualify such landscape for consideration as a legal nonconforming use.

(3)    The Planning Director is authorized to notify the owner of any property planted as a condition of approval under the Community Development Guide that planting is not being adequately maintained, and the specific nature of such failure to maintain. The notice shall specify a date by which the property owner shall be expected to comply.

(4)    Upon the failure to perform the required maintenance within the date specified by the notice, the Planning Director is authorized to collect funds under the maintenance bond or other security, and cause the required maintenance to be completed.

    When funds have not been set aside or the performance assurance has expired, the Planning Director is authorized to request the City Attorney to institute legal action to recover the cost of the required maintenance, and upon receipt of the funds to cause the maintenance to be done.

(5)    “Maintenance” as used in this section includes replacement of dead, diseased or damaged plant materials and repair of irrigation systems. (Formerly 20C.20.090(45))